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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Oakland in Garrett County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Highest Point on the Maryland State Roads System

 
 
Highest Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 3, 2007
1. Highest Point Marker
Inscription.  Elevation 3095 feet. Maryland State Roads Commission. J. N. Mackall, Chairman & Chief Engineer; L.T. Downey, District Engineer. Contractor: T. D. Claiborne Co. Inc., August Mencken.
 
Erected 1928 by Maryland State Roads Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 39° 18.09′ N, 79° 24.914′ W. Marker is near Oakland, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker is on George Washington Highway (U.S. 50) east of Table Rock Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4651 George Washington Hwy, Oakland MD 21550, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Civil War Fort Pendleton (approx. 3.3 miles away); Grant County / State of Maryland (approx. 3.8 miles away in West Virginia); Preston County / Maryland (approx. 4 miles away in West Virginia); a different marker also named Preston County / Maryland (approx. 4.3 miles away in West Virginia); "McCulloch’s Path" (approx.
Highest Point on the Maryland State Roads System Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 3, 2007
2. Highest Point on the Maryland State Roads System Marker
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4½ miles away); Flag Raising (approx. 5.6 miles away in West Virginia); Hoye - Crest (approx. 5.8 miles away); Old Stone Tavern (approx. 6½ miles away in West Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
 
Regarding Highest Point on the Maryland State Roads System. Marker is on U.S. Route 50, where it crests Backbone Mountain. Backbone Mountain is the highest mountain in Maryland and its highest point in the state, Hoye-Crest, is 3360 feet above sea level.
 
Additional commentary.
1. The Free State Monument
August Mencken Jr., the brother of journalist H.L. Mencken, who was leading a road crew widening U.S. Route 50 erected this monument at his own expense in 1928, for about $30. The bronze plaques include the Mencken coat of arms, and the State Roads Commission Seal with the slogan "Maryland Free State." The expression "Maryland Free State" commemorates Maryland's refusal to pass enabling legislation during Prohibition. When Congressman Upshaw of Georgia declared in 1923 that such a refusal was traitorous, a never published Baltimore Sun editorial entitled "The Maryland Free State" suggested (facetiously)
Highest Point on the Maryland State Roads System Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2011
3. Highest Point on the Maryland State Roads System Marker
that Maryland should secede rather than submit to Prohibition. H. L. Mencken took up the battle cry and did much to popularize the nickname "Free State". This memorial is said to be only memorial to the "Free State" of Maryland. (for a reprint of a 1954 Baltimore Sun article on this marker by John C. Schmidt see The Glades Star, Vol. 6, No. 6, Dec. 2000)
    — Submitted October 4, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
 
The Mencken Family Coat of Arms image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2011
4. The Mencken Family Coat of Arms
On the rear of the marker.
Maryland Free State image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 29, 2011
5. Maryland Free State
The State Roads Commission Seal with the epithet "Maryland Free State"
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 3, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,721 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 3, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   2. submitted on June 5, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   3, 4, 5. submitted on October 4, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.

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May. 14, 2021